In 2002 Marvin joined Queen Elizabeth 2 as a Galley Utility and has worked on all three Queens since. Through hard work he progressed to Galley Utility #1 before taking on the role of Assistant Galley Manager and eventually Galley Manager. Here’s how things have been for him during the lay-up period on board.

I boarded Queen Elizabeth for this contract in September 2020. Travelling in those trying times was challenging, particularly preparing the travel clearance and getting to the destination while adhering to all safety protocols – wearing face masks and face shields.

A few days into my preventative quarantine period I received my handover notes and was able to discuss these over the phone as face-to-face interaction isn’t possible. When my quarantine period ended, I rolled my sleeves up and started work and this is what ‘A day in the life of…’ looks like for me.

07:30    I get to the office to check if there were any urgent emails overnight, review the Time And Attendance of my team, and send the daily food waste tracker to the Food & Beverage lead and the Hotel General Manager.

07:45    Quick rounds in all operational galley areas, and check in with my early shift team to make sure they’re in place, all OK and they have everything they need for the job such as cleaning chemicals, materials and Personal Protective Equipment.

08:00    I go to the Lido dish wash area to relieve the Galley Utility who’s working there so he can go for breakfast.

08:30    I go for breakfast.

09:00    Today I attend the Hotel Manager’s meeting in the Verandah Restaurant but if I’m not in the meeting then I go and do rounds in all of the vacant galleys and check and record the temperatures of all of the Galley Staff.

09:30 – Most days we have special projects assisting the Chef, Inventory Manager and Hotel General Manager. Some examples of these tasks include washing the metal pallets in the Provision Areas, deep cleaning the walk in fridges and freezers, and assisting with the deep cleaning of the Mess Rooms, as well as all of the galleys that aren’t currently in use.

10:30    I go for a break

11:30    I spend time in the office checking emails, updating crew temperature logs, logging galley defects and following up with the Technical team

12:00    I assist in the Pot wash or Dish wash areas, so that my team can have their lunch before going for lunch myself.

13:00    We’re busy ensuring that all areas are ready for dinner time and sorting all the garbage and food waste. All food waste is weighed every day before we discard it after lunch service.

14:30    I go on a break; sometimes I’ll go to the gym for a short workout, but now that I’m towards the end of my contract, I take a nap most afternoons and chat to my loved ones back home.

17:00    Back in the office to check emails. I contact the Hotel General Manager and Chef to see if there are any special instructions for the evening and to discuss projects for the next day.

17:30    Another round of all of the Dish wash and Pot wash areas, which include Deck 10, Deck 9 and the Prep rooms down on Deck A.

18:00    I man the Dish Wash area at the beginning of dinner service after which I will take my dinner.

19:00    Checking all the areas in operation are clean and ready for the next day. Weighing of and recording of the food waste from dinner service and checking of all Temperature Log books to make sure we’re measuring the temperatures of the dishwashers twice a day and logging them correctly. If there’s a problem with the temperatures, my team calls me so I can get the Technical team to deal with it immediately.

I’m also the person who’s in charge of Pest Management for the Galley department, so I have to periodically do inspection during the week to see that the areas are free of pests. Then, once a week on a Sunday, I have to check all pest traps within all galley areas.

22:00    Time to relax.

Going home; 28 days of quarantine!

In a few days time I’ll disembark the ship and return to my country, the Philippines. In preparation for this I’ve completed detailed working notes for a smooth hand over to my colleague.

I’m excited to be with my family again but I can’t ignore the worries and fears of Covid-19 as I travel back home. Upon my arrival in the Philippines I will have to undergo a 14 day mandatory quarantine and then another 14 day quarantine period once I arrive in my home town.

I may not see my family right away but that’s okay as it’s for the safety of everybody. I will be prepared with some books and movies to watch while I’m in quarantine.

This pandemic has taught me so much – to love the job that you have, to always respect the people you work with and to value each other’s time. Things may not be the same but let us keep our hopes high and believe that the best is yet to come!   

Next week we’ll hear from Captain Connery on Queen Victoria!

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